Last year we accidentally grew two zucchini plants. We ate a lot of zucchini. We baked it, sautéed it, stuffed it and shredded it. In fact, we had enough zucchini to blanch and fill the freezer and then continue to eat all winter long, and this past spring as we were choosing seeds and deciding on what to grow, only one zucchini plant was on the menu.
Instead, we opted to grow a few squash that would ripen later in the season, leaving us with their bounty long after the zucchini had settled down. The first of these was a spaghetti squash. A large vine that tried to take over the entire garden bed, climbing the trellis meant for the cucumbers and coming over the edge and making its way over to the pumpkin.
The result of my prolific squash was a hearty bounty of yellow orbs, all waiting for me to do something with them, and do something I did. Not only did I roast a few with shallots and herbs for a simple side dish, but I stuffed them and pulled them and enjoyed watching my kids squeal with delight as their squash turned to nature's pasta with the tongs of a fork.
Sausage Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
2 spaghetti squash, cut in half
½ pound spicy Italian sausage
½ lemon, juiced
8 ounces baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 tablespoons fresh oregano, minced
1 tablespoon fresh mint, minced
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 375º F. Scoop out insides of spaghetti squash and discard. In a large roasting pan, place spaghetti squash face down and add ½ cup to ¾ cup water until it comes up the sides ¼". Bake at 375º for 30-40 minutes until strands pull apart easily with a fork and have a soft bite.
While the squash is cooking, cook sausage in a medium sauté pan until crumbled and cooked through. Remove and set aside. Drain all but about 1 tablespoon of grease. Add mushrooms, red pepper and lemon juice. Over a medium-high heat, sauté until tender for 5-7 minutes. Return sausage to the pan and cook for an additional 60 seconds to combine flavors. Stir in fresh herbs and feta.
Scoop sausage filling into spaghetti squash and use a fork to pull squash strands apart. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.
Photos by Shaina Olmanson
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